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121023 - Sleep and Consciousness.docx

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Eileen Wood

What are the properties of Consciousness?  Subjective and Private o Others can’t directly know our reality (and vice versa)  Dynamic o Ever-changing  Self-reflective History of the question: What is Consciousness?  Seemed ideally suited to psychology  Difficult topic to study o Started when Wundt & Titchener started studying introspection o Introspection too subjective, psychologists didn’t like it o Fell out of favour, became unpopular BECAUSE of introspection  No agreement Consciousness  Infer much from absence of consciousness o Unconsciousness: just inaccessible  Freudian unconscious or an unconscious act? o Non conscious: have access to it if you want to, but at that point in time you aren’t aware (or something along those lines...)  E.g. while driving: aren’t sure whether you passed a certain road or not. Basically not really particularly paying attention  automatized  Perform many mental functions without being aware of it  Blindsight: o Blindsight: able to detect thing, but unaware of it o Vision is not entirely seeing, don’t know extent of awareness o Need visual cortex to “consciously” see things o Lizard must be aware to catch flies to eat Does the absence of conscious thought = the unconscious?  Term “unconscious” o Freud  “Non-conscious” o Something is working, we’re just not actively aware of it o Automatized routines o Nowadays when we mention unconscious it’s referring to non-conscious Ask a Psychologist  Can a person in a coma actually hear/remember anything people say? o Not when brain dead/coma o Must have some awareness and arousal Measuring Consciousness  How do we operationally define inner states?  Subjective; don’t know how one would interpret themselves  Self-reports o Direct but not verifiable  Physiological o Are objective but cannot indicate what person is experiencing subjectively  Behavioural o Performance on tasks (e.g., rouge test) o Need to infer state of mind Circadian Rhythms: Brain and Environment  One of most important systems is our clock system  Works in certain time period phases  Circadian rhythms regulated by suprachiasmatic nuclei (SCN)  SCN neurons link to pineal gland which secretes melatonin Circadian Rhythms  Neurons in SCN are active during daytime o Inhibits melatonin secretion o Raises body temperature and alertness  Neurons in SCN become inactive at night o Allows melatonin secretion to increase o Melatonin promotes relaxation and sleepiness  Rhythmic daily cycles, e.g. wakefulness & sleep  Free Running Circadian Rhythms o “Natural” wake-sleep cycle longer than 24 hours o Isolation studies show 24.2 – 24.8 hours  Disruptions of Circadian Rhythms o Jet lag o Night-shift work o Seasonal affective disorder Why are Circadian Rhythms Important?  Predicts success academically  Predicts safety  More likely to perform well at certain points in time  Influence tendency to be a “morning person” or a “night person”  Do you do better in morning or evening classes? Sleep & Dreaming  Circadian rhythms – promote readiness for sleep  Spend about 1/3 of time asleep (meaning we should all get about 8 hours) o Studied in sleep labs  Methods of studying sleep: o EEG (brain waves) o Right eye movements o Left eye movements o Muscle tensions Sleep Can Be Recorded  Language of nervous system is electrical  Electrodes measure  4 types of waves o Alpha – relaxed  Out of focus, kind of not really there o Beta – active  When you’re focused  Thinking through problems o Theta – light sleep  Rousable state; they wake up easily o Delta – deep sleep Stages of Sleep  Cycle through stages roughly every 90 minutes o Brain activity, other physiological responses change o Beta waves occur when awake and alert (15-30 cps) o Alpha waves occur when relaxed and drowsy (8-12 cps)  Stage 1 o Light sleep o Theta waves (3.5-7.5 cps) o Lasts few minutes o May experience “body jerks”  Stage 2 o Sleep deepens – muscles more relaxed – harder to awaken o Sleep spindles (1-2 second bursts of rapid brain activity)  Stage 3 o Sleep deepens o Regular appearance of delta waves (0.5-2cps)  Stage 4 o Sleep deepens o Delta waves dominate pattern o Stage 4 and Stage 3 together – called “slow-wave sleep”  Stage 3 & 4 is about 15 minutes into your sleep cycle  After stage 4 period, sleeper goes back through earlier stages o Stage 3, then stage 2, but NOT another stage 1 o Instead, a new stage appears  REM sleep o Rapid eye movements o High arousal o Frequent dreaming REM Sleep  Physiological changes o Heart-rate increases o Breathing more rapid and irregular o Brain-wave activity increases o Penile erections & vaginal lubrication o “REM sleep paralysis”  Difficult for voluntary muscles to contract o As you go through the night you get more REM sleep Sleep  Sleep spindles: condensed waves Sleep and the Environment 121025  Everyone knows the environment affects sleep  Effects of Environmental Factors o Changes in season o Shiftwork, stress o Noise  Increase arousal & heart rate  Decrease time in deep slow-wave sleep  Increase time in less restful sleep Sleep and Age  Sleep less as you age  REM sleep decreases during infancy, childhood  Time in stages 3, 4 (slow-wave sleep) declines  Infants: 16 hours of sleep, 50% REM sleep  REM sleep declines as you age…. By 50-90 years old, only 20-23% REM sleep  19-30 years old, 22% REM sleep Short and Long Sleepers  Many individual differences in sleep time WHY?!  Genes o More similar patterns among identical twins o (lark – fast increase in body temperature; owl – slow increase in body temperature) o Long and short sleepers (average required 6.5 hours, 6-10)  Environmental factors o Time of day, lifestyle Sleep Deprivation Types  Short Term (Up to 45 hours without sleep)  Long Term (More than 45 hours)  Partial (no more than 5 hours/night for 1 or more consecutive nights) Negative impact on functioning  Mood suffered most (irritable) o Sensitive, annoyed, moody, grumpy, moody, lo
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